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 Gas analyser gremlins

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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Gas analyser gremlins   Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:31 pm

I've got myself an old Richard Oliver Gas Check 2000 gas analyser. Cool, eh? Problem is it keeps blowing fuses. It suddenly shut off making a pop sound as it happened. I smelt a whiff of electrical burning too. I replaced the fuse in the plug, but it blew that immediately on powering up. I've got no idea where to go from here, so any input appreciated.
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:42 pm

Cant help with that I'm afraid.

I have, OTOH, seen some online articles on making a gas analyser of sorts using the oxygen electrode from a scrap catalysed exhaust system, which might be a substitute if you can't get your gizmo to work.

I can probably find them again if you're interested.
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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:17 pm

Well, I really want to fix my analyser, otherwise it's just a £70 fuse destroyer.

But you've managed to pique my interest, so yeah I'd like to have a look.
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:18 am

Justwatching wrote:
Well, I really want to fix my analyser, otherwise it's just a £70 fuse destroyer.

Well, I'm no sparky, but you seem to have a short to earth.

I'd think about substituting a lower energy power supply to limit possible damage (perhaps a dry cell battery?) in series with a test light or meter. You could then poke around disconnecting things downstream of the light until it goes out, at which point you have found the source of your leakage to earth.

Or not. I'm no sparky.

I suppose a circuit diagram might help.

Here's one of the DIY EGA articles.

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There are other relevant ones on the Autospeed site (and some good articles on other topics) including some on a "bar graph" meter (a cascade LED series voltage indicator) for use with the oxygen sensor. The sensor has to be a self-heated type

They used to sell the meter as a kit. I think that may no longer be available, but somewhere on there they diagram the PCB

I've think I've seen a better article with details on how to build that type of meter somewhere else but can't find it right now.

Some multi-meters will also work, apparently.
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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Got ourselves a suspect   Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:16 pm

Found a black scorch mark next to this little box. It's smells bad (electrical burning) and the casing has ruptured.

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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:36 am

Apparently a power-line filter (but I suppose you knew that) . It looks broken, but was this caused by another fault in the power supply?

New one will apparently cost about a tenner, plus 5 quid delivery, so it'd be unfortunate if it blew too.

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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:23 am

£19.25 (they don't include vat until you get to checkout). I'm reluctant, but my choices appear to be replace it or leave the analyser broken.
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:06 am

This is probably simplistic/naive, but I wonder if it'd be worth trying to "model" the gizmo with, say, a resistor of the same value, and see what happens to it (and the fuze) when you switch on, before risking the actual component.

I assume/hope you've posted this query elsewhere too. There'll likely be more specialist (and more active) forums where you might get a more of an informed response.

A gas analyser would be a nice thing to have for sure.

By chance I got a look at the analyser screen when I was in for my half year vehicle inspection today. 4.7 % CO, 7.2% CO2, IIRC. Didn't see the HC but presumably high (They don't give you a printout, probably the thinking is "no numbers, no pack drill" stylee).

The posted limits for a 1990 car (mines 1986 which wasn't posted) are 4.5% and >9%, so that should probably have been a fail, but the private centres tend to cut you some slack for the repeat bizniz, (and thier meters are allegedly "tuned" to read low.)

Last year I lost my registration document and had to put the car through a Taiwan government DMV testing centre. which are supposed to be much stricter.

I wasn’t optimistic because governments generally are hostile to old cars, and I thought the DMV guys might therefore be hostile too. I had no real idea on braking efficiency/balance (seemed to stop ok) or emissions (plugs look about right) and accordingly had made no attempt to tune down or fake the latter.

In fact, they seemed to find it an amusing novelty.

I turned up with my gf, and, while waiting in the queue, she apparently gave them a shameless sob-story about me being a poor hard working dedicated teacher and we were leaving for Australia next week (steerage, naturally – well Air Asia which is about equivalent) and if it failed I’d be depressed and suicidal and, since I came from Scotland, I might turn violent-drunk and drive her and the starving weans out into the snow.

Mostly true of course, but in the Yook one maintains a stiff upper lip about that kind of thing.

Anyway, it seemed that the DMV guys needed to see the right numbers on their gizmo’s, but I got the impression that getting them could be heavily influenced by driver technique, which is a bit surprising if true.

With the DMV guys on-side, I got lots of directions on how to work the brake pedal (I think maybe a sharp jab maximizes the transient braking force recorded, though I was in WTF? mode at the time.)

For the emissions test I was getting simulcast contradictory broken Chinglish/Mandarin instructions on throttle control from DMV minder (left ear) and gf (right ear) and I’m afraid I lost it a bit and started to giggle uncontrollably.

At that point the DMV guys suggested I take it for a run to get it warmed up (and me calmed down, presumably) and come back for another try, which I did, scaring the gf because, although I couldn’t drive fast in the centre of Tainan, I kept the revs high which “sounds scary”.

A bit before return I gave the car a quick “stage-one eco-tune”, ie I removed the air cleaner and hid it under the seat. Dunno how effective that was.

2nd try a DMV guy took it through (this is standard at the private test centre I usually go to) and was able to coax acceptable numbers from it.

So you CAN get an 80’s car through an “official” (sort of) Taiwan govt test, but it helps if you have the knack, and/or take a girl or two with you.
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:52 am

Link to an LED series voltmeter for use with a Lamda sensor. (Not the one I remember)

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There is quite a lot of discussion of this on't web, but the links are almost all dead.

Related

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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:40 am

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Apparently the commercial ones have an obligatory (but settable) calibration frequency, or they stop working.

Incidentally, I've just realised that Taiwan apparently specifies a minimum CO2 of 9% AND, AFAIK, the UK doesn't.

That'd presumably make it difficult/impossible to fake the test by bleeding air into the exhaust system, which I've heard of, though of course I would never do such a thing. (whistle)
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PostSubject: I fixed it!!!   Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:52 pm

Didn't read your last posts before attempting a fix, but it all worked out. I bought two line filters in the end (the second filter only made a £7 difference to my total, so why not). I also found some dodgy home-made wiring which is now soldered up and looking a little more respectable. With the new line filter, fixed wiring and replaced fuse, it now turns on without blowing stuff up.

Next step is calibration. With the brief amount of time I had with it before it started eating fuses, I noticed the readings were a little optimistic (said my proton was about 0.5% CO. I doubt it). It has a calibration button. I wonder if I can adjust it myself, maybe use a known good analyser as a bench mark.
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:41 am

How's it going now? any luck with the gas?
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PostSubject: Re: Gas analyser gremlins   Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:54 am

Not so far. The calibration button just brings "CAL" up on the screen. Can't figure out how to adjust the reading (if it even work like that). Can't find an owners manual online either. Might have to bite the bullet and take it to a specialist...
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